Ferndale Police Chief Retires Early, City Reviewing Policies and Procedures
(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 10, 2018)
Ferndale, MI- The City of Ferndale has announced that Police Chief Timothy Collins will be retiring, with his last day being Friday. Collins was expected to retire later this year when reaching the mandatory retirement age of 60. Collins has been with the Ferndale Police for nearly 4o years, raising his family in the community and volunteering as a coach for football and wrestling teams.
The announcement came at Monday’s City Council meeting, one week after a 25-year veteran of the Ferndale Police Department was terminated following what the city called “continual and repeated rule and regulation violations” in a statement Tuesday about the termination.
The allegations in last week’s firing were made in February of this year. According to the statement, “after a thorough internal investigation, the Department charged the officer with violation of several regulations, including Unbecoming Conduct, Insubordination, Inattention to Duty, and Incompetence.”
A spokesperson for the city would not go into the details about the violations, however, Ferndale Police have been in the news several times recently for unbecoming behavior. In April 2016, an officer was charged with assaulting an arrestee. Also in April 2016, Chief Collins let a drunk driver go who was the mother of a police officer, an incident that came to light more recently. In November 2017, an off-duty police officer was pulled over going the wrong way on Woodward Avenue, and instead of an arrest the officer and his wife were given a ride home.
Ferndale Mayor David Coulter said the most recent officer termination “is an example—and the most recent in a series of examples—of an individual member of our police department not living up to the values our community expects,” according to the statement.
“I am deeply disappointed by this officer’s behavior,” Coulter said. “Incidents like these have the potential to affect the community trust that is so critical to effective law enforcement.”
Coulter added “Our City Manager—with the full support of myself and City Council—will lead a formal review of the Police Department to look at current policies and procedures, and to identify what new measures, training, and cultural shifts need to be implemented to help prevent incidents like these from occurring in the future.”
Coulter accepted Chief Collin’s resignation. “He has always put his department and the city first, and it is in that typical spirit that he has concluded, and I agree, that new leadership during this review would be more effective.” Captain Vincent Palazzolo will serve as Interim Chief.
“We expect the best from all City employees, and perhaps from our members of law enforcement most of all; they are entrusted by our community to serve and protect and to do so with the highest level of conduct, honesty, and integrity. It is always our hope that procedural disciplinary measures will help correct an issue, particularly in an officer with such a lengthy tenure,” said Lynch. “Unfortunately, and in hindsight, that was not the case here.”